Romney Will Not Back Trump, ‘Dismayed’ About Rise Of Populism

(REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Mitt Romney has no intention to support either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and said Thursday that he is “dismayed” by populism on both sides of the aisle.

“I see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle and I only hope and aspire that we’ll see more greatness,” the former governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee said at an awards gala for American Friends of Hebrew University, The Washington Examiner reports. He said, “I’m certainly going to be hoping that we find someone who I have my confidence in who becomes nominee. I don’t intend on supporting either of the major party candidates at this point.”

Romney pointed to a recent commencement speech Michael Bloomberg made titled, “Here’s Your Degree. Now Go Defeat Demagogues.”

“He basically said, look, on the left you have this demagoguery saying all these problems in the country is because of the bankers, and people of wealth, successful people,” Romney said. He added, “and on the right, demagogues saying, ‘Well, no, these problems mostly involve these Muslims coming in and the Mexicans and so we’re scapegoating, which is a characteristic of a demagogue’s approach.”

The former presidential candidate has been outspoken this election about his opposition to Trump. He gave a speech in March in which he called on Republicans to support whichever candidate could beat Trump on a state by state basis. Now the New York businessman is the party’s presumptive nominee. (RELATED: Romney To Skip Republican Convention)

“I happen to think that the person who is leading the nation has an enormous and disproportionate impact on the course of the world, so I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices, and I keep hoping that somehow things will get better, and I just don’t see an easy answer from where we are,” Romney said at the awards gala.

Besides speaking on the state of the presidential race, Romney heaped praise on his former running mate, [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore].

“He’s got all these people working together, and it’s absolutely remarkable,” Romney said. “I’d love to see him run for president, but having a speaker of the House, at this stage, where we don’t know what’s going to happen on the presidential race, having a speaker of the House with that kind of leadership capacity is very encouraging. I have hopes that he’ll remain speaker.”